Smartphones are Powerful Personal Pocket Computers – Should Schools Ban Them?

When the UK took its first steps out of national lockdown in April and schools reopened, education secretary Gavin Williamson announced the implementation of the behaviour hubs programme. And as part of this push to develop a school culture “where good behaviour is the norm”, he pushed for banning smartphones in schools.

Williamson claims that phones distract from healthy exercise and, as he put it, good old-fashioned play. And he says they act as a breeding ground for cyberbullying. Getting rid of them will, to his mind, create calm and orderly environments that facilitate learning. “While it is for every school to make its own policy,” he wrote, “I firmly believe that mobile phones should not be used or seen during the school day, and will be backing headteachers who implement such policies.”

The difficulty that teachers face is that there are often conflicting assessments of the risks and benefits of the constant influx of new devices in schools. As we found in our recent study, guidance for educators on how to navigate all this is limited. And there is no robust evaluation of the effect of school policies that restrict school-time smartphone use and there is limited evidence on how these policies are implemented in schools. So how can teachers approach this controversial subject?

We believe the best way to start is to reframe the smartphone itself. Rather than just a phone, it is more accurately described as a powerful pocket computer. It contains, among other things, a writing tool, a calculator and a huge encyclopaedia.

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Suggesting that children use smartphones in ways that help them learn, therefore, seems hardly radical. The perennial debate about banning phones needs to shift to thinking about how best to help schools better design school phone policies and practices that can enrich their pupils’ learning, health and wellbeing. And for that, we can start by looking at the evidence on phone use by young people.

We know that most adolescents own a smartphone. When used appropriately and in moderation, they can provide multiple benefits in terms of learning, behaviour and connection with peers. There is also evidence that technology use in classrooms can support learning and attainment.

The operative word here, though, is “moderation”. Excessive use of smartphones (and other digital devices) can lead to heightened anxiety and depression, neglecting other activities, conflict with peers, poor sleep habits and an increased exposure to cyberbullying.

Then there’s everything we don’t yet fully understand about the impact – good or bad – that smartphone use may have on children. No one does. This has been reflected in recent research briefings and reports published by the UK government: they recognise the risks and benefits of phone use, and report that it is essential that schools are better supported to make decisions about their use in school with evidence-based guidance.

Playing catch-up

To investigate existing school positions on phone and media use, we interviewed and did workshops with more than 100 teenagers across years nine to 13, along with teachers, community workers and international specialists in school policies and health interventions.

We found that teachers tend to be scared of phones. Most of them said this was because they didn’t know how pupils are using their phones during school hours. Amid pressures regarding assessment, safeguarding and attendance, phones are simply not a priority. Issuing a blanket ban is often just the easiest option.

Teachers too recognise the benefits, as well as the risks, of smartphone use. But, crucially, they don’t have the necessary guidance, skills and tools to parse seemingly contradictory information. As one teacher put it: “Do we allow it, do we embrace it, do we engage students with it, or do we completely ignore it?”

Different approaches

This is, of course, a worldwide challenge. Looking at how different institutions in different cultural settings are tackling it is instructive. Often, similar motivations give rise to very different approaches.

The mould-breaking Agora school in Roermond, in the Netherlands, for example, allows ubiquitous phone use. Their position is that teenagers won’t learn how to use their phones in a beneficial way if they have to leave them in their lockers.

By contrast, governments in Australia, France and Canada are urging schools to restrict phone use during the day in a bid to improve academic outcomes and decrease bullying.

Teachers need a new type of training that helps them to critically evaluate – with confidence – both academic evidence and breaking news. Working with their students in deciding how and when phones can be used could prove fruitful too.

Accessing information

Academic research takes time to publish, data is often incomprehensible to non-experts and papers reporting on findings are often subject to expensive journal subscription prices. Professional development providers, trusts and organisations therefore must do more to make it easier for teachers to access the information they need to make decisions.

New data alone, though, isn’t enough. Researchers need be prepared to translate their evidence in ways that educators can actually use to design better school policies and practices.

The children’s author and former children’s laureate Michael Rosen recently made the point that “we are living in an incredible time: whole libraries, vast banks of knowledge and multimedia resources are available to us via an object that fits in our pockets”.

That doesn’t sound like something educators should ignore. Findings from our study add to the current debate by suggesting that new evidence and new types of teacher training are urgently needed to help schools make informed decisions about phone use in schools.

Authors:

Senior Lecturer in Pedagogy in Sport, Physical Activity and Health, University of Birmingham

Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education), University of Birmingham

Reader in Public Health & Epidemiology, University of Birmingham

Source: Smartphones are powerful personal pocket computers – should schools ban them?

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Critics:

The use of mobile phones in schools by students has become a controversial topic debated by students, parents, teachers and authorities. People who support the use of cell phones believe that these phones are essential for safety by allowing children to communicate with their parents and guardians, could simplify many school matters, and it is important in today’s world that children learn how to deal with new media properly as early as possible.

To prevent distractions caused by mobile phones, some schools have implemented policies that restrict students from using their phones during school hours. Some administrators have attempted cell phone jamming, but this practice is illegal in certain jurisdictions. The software can be used in order to monitor and restrict phone usage to reduce distractions and prevent unproductive use. However, these methods of regulation raise concerns about privacy violation and abuse of power.

Phone use in schools is not just an issue for students and teachers but also for other employees of educational institutions. According to the Governors Highway Safety Association, while no state bans all mobile phone use for all drivers, twenty states and the District of Columbia prohibit school bus drivers from using mobile phones.[38] School bus drivers have been fired or suspended for using their phones or text-messaging while driving.

Cellphone applications have been created to support the use of phones in school environments. As of February 2018, about 80,000 applications are available for teacher use. A variety of messaging apps provide communication for student-to-student relationships as well as teacher-to-student communication. Some popular apps for both students, teachers, and parents are Remind and ClassDojo. About 72% of top-selling education apps on iOS are for preschoolers and elementary school students. These apps offer many different services such as language translation, scheduled reminders and messages to parents.

See also

Six Questions You Should Ask Before Choosing A New Cellphone Company

Thinking about switching wireless providers? We highlighted some of the most important things to consider while making your decision.

Whether you’re looking for a cheaper phone plan, a great deal on a new phone or just better coverage where you live, switching cellphone providers presents a great chance to step up your phone game.  

Unfortunately, wading through all the marketing buzzwords in cellphone plans can feel like the least fun kind of homework. To make things simple, we broke down the process into the six most important questions you should consider before switching.

Should I go with a prepaid plan?

If you’re looking to save money with your new carrier, prepaid carriers have some of the cheapest phone plans you’ll find anywhere. This means that you’ll pay for your monthly bill upfront instead of after the fact. Many carriers also offer some decent discounts if you prepay for multiple months at a time. 

This is one of the best ways to save money on a cellphone plan. Here are a few popular phone plans, along with the money you’d save by switching to a cheaper prepaid plan:

PlanMajor carrier planCheaper planYearly savings
Four lines of unlimited dataVerizon Get More Unlimited ($220/mo.)Total Wireless ($100/mo.)$1,440
One line of unlimited dataT-Mobile Magenta Plus ($85/mo.)Mint Mobile ($30/mo.)$660
One line of 2GBAT&T ($35/mo.)Tello ($14/mo.)$252
One line of 5GBVerizon ($40/mo.)Boost Mobile ($25/mo.)$180

All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. Auto-pay discounts not included. As of 11/24/20.

These companies are called mobile virtual network operators, or MVNOs. That means they piggyback off the major networks — AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon — rather than use their own cellular towers. 

The conventional wisdom says that MVNOs have worse coverage than the companies who operate their own networks. But in practice, customers have often been more satisfied with their service. According to a Consumer Reports survey of their 103,000 members, MVNOs almost always scored higher than carriers that operate their own network. (T-Mobile was the lone exception.) Learn more about prepaid phone plans

Do I need a new phone?

One of the best perks of switching to a new cellphone company is that you can usually pick up a free phone in the process. Unfortunately, these phone deals are mostly confined to the major carriers. If you go with a prepaid plan, you’ll probably have to go with an older phone if you want to get one for free. Here are some of the best deals available through the “big three” carriers right now: 

To get deals on new phones from these companies, you’ll have to commit to a two-year contract and open a new unlimited data line. Many times, you’ll also have to trade in an eligible phone. But those steps are usually worth the hassle. Right now, AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon are all offering free iPhone 12 models when you switch.  Learn more about phone deals

Which carrier has the best coverage in my area?

While most people switch carriers because of price, it can also be a good opportunity to improve your coverage, too. In most third-party tests, T-Mobile and Verizon usually take first place, with AT&T coming in last. Here’s how some of the major analyses rank the networks:

SourceAT&TT-MobileVerizon
Ookla Speed Score™41.6533.4931.40
Ookla Consistency Score™81.4%80.8%76.9%
RootMetrics Overall Performance94.186.795.2
OpenSignal Download Speed Experience32.6 Mbps28.2 Mbps27.4 Mbps
OpenSignal 4G Coverage Experience9.58.89.8
Consumer Reports Data ScoreFairVery goodGood
Consumer Reports Reception ScorePoorGoodGood
Allconnect Score7.507.897.85

Data as reported by Ookla, Root Metrics, OpenSignal, Consumer Reports

Of course, just because one carrier scores well overall doesn’t mean it will be the strongest in your specific area. We recommend checking out each of their coverage maps to find one that has a strong network where you live.

Keep in mind, if you go with a prepaid carrier, it will use one or more of the networks above, so it’s still a good idea to check its coverage before you sign up.  Learn more about cellphone coverage

Is it time to get a 5G phone?

If you’ve turned on a TV in the past year, you’ve probably been inundated with commercials telling you that the “best 5G network” is already right in your backyard. The truth is a little more complicated. 

While AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon have all made great strides on their 5G networks, the next generation of wireless technology is still not available everywhere. According to tests from Ookla, T-Mobile users in the U.S. connected to 5G 54% of the time in October, compared 18% for AT&T and less than 1% for Verizon.

But wherever we currently are in the 5G race, there’s no debating that it’s the future. If you’re looking to switch cellphone providers, it’s worth factoring into your decision. AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon include 5G coverage in all of their unlimited plans, and you can also get good deals on 5G phones when you open a new line.  Learn more about 5G plans and coverage

What is 5G?

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology. Just like the 4G rollout a decade ago increased data speeds — the internet connection your phone uses when you’re away from Wi-Fi — 5G promises an even faster connection. Right now, average 5G speeds in the U.S. are 52 Mbps, which is about twice as fast as 4G, but they should rise much higher. Verizon’s average 5G speeds are a whopping 494.7 Mbps already, although its network is much more limited than that of AT&T and T-Mobile.

Should I open a family plan?

If you’re already on a family plan with your current cellphone company, it’s a no-brainer to open another one with your new carrier. But if you’ve only been looking at one-line accounts for your new plan, it’s worth getting a few people together who might also be interested in switching. The savings can be enormous.  

For AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon, the price per line on family plans is half the price of a single line.

What’s more, phone deals for new customers are typically available for each line that’s opened. So, if four people open a new family plan, all four would likely be able to get significantly discounted phones in the move. 

You don’t always need to have one account-holder handle the bill every month, either. Carriers like Visible Wireless let each line manage their own account, so you can skip the frantic Venmo requests at bill time every month.   Learn more about family plans

Which streaming services do I want?

All of the major cellphone companies tie in perks like free streaming subscriptions to their plans. Here’s what you can get right now:

  • AT&T: HBO Max included with $85/mo. plan (one line)
  • Boost Mobile: TIDAL HiFi included for six months
  • T-Mobile: Netflix included with two or more lines ($60/mo. plans and up)
  • Verizon: Apple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+ included 

But while these are certainly enticing, they shouldn’t be the only factor when deciding where to switch. In some cases, these plans are so much pricier than cheaper options that you could subscribe to the services separately and still save money with another carrier.

FactorAT&T Unlimited EliteT-Mobile Magenta PlusVerizon Play More Unlimited
Price$85/mo. (one line)$140/mo. (two lines)$80/mo. (one line)
Streaming perksHBO MaxNetflix StandardApple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+
Streaming value$15/mo.$14/mo.$23/mo.
Price minus streaming perks$70/mo.$126/mo.$57/mo.

All plans include unlimited talk and text. Pricing per month plus taxes. Additional fees and terms may apply. As of 11/24/20.

That’s certainly the case with AT&T and T-Mobile — after the value of the streaming services is factored in, their plans are still pretty pricey — but Verizon’s perks actually add up to a whopping $23/mo. Granted, you might not even want each of Apple Music, Hulu, Disney Plus and ESPN+. But if these promotions catch your eye, it’s worth doing a little math before making a decision based solely on these.

By: Joe Supan

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Reviews.org

What cell phone provider (or network) should you go with? We have a full review on that at https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c… but… We think choosing a cell phone provider comes down a combination of price, data, coverage, and what your needs are. We’ll discuss it all in this video review. Related reviews: Best Cell Phone Plans For Seniors — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c… Best Cell Phone Plans For families — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-f… Best Cell Phone Plan Coverage — https://www.reviews.org/mobile/best-c…

Verizon Launches Yahoo-Branded Smartphone For $50

Verizon is launching a purple Yahoo smartphone for $50, the first device from the once-ascendant tech company, which comes at a time when Verizon seems to be figuring  out what to do with the former search giant.

With its budget-friendly price point, the Yahoo Mobile ZTE Blade A3Y doesn’t have the latest and greatest specs: The phone will ship with a 5.4-inch 720p display, an Android 10 operating system, 2GB of RAM, 32GB of storage, a fingerprint scanner and face unlock.

Yahoo’s apps will come pre-installed, including Yahoo Mail, News, Sports and Weather.

The phone won’t be able to access Verizon’s newly launched 5G network, which isn’t a surprise considering its low price.

Verizon has already pushed Yahoo into a smartphone industry with Yahoo Mobile, a phone plan launched in March that charges customers $40 for unlimited talk, text and data on Verizon’s 4G LTE network. 

Key Background

Yahoo was a major player in the 90s and early aughts, but it never figured out how to compete with Google, and even turned down an opportunity to buy Google for $1 billion in 2002. Yahoo then acquired Flickr and Tumblr in an attempt to grow past its email and search engine, but even those services were eventually eclipsed by other social media companies. Verizon bought Yahoo in 2017 for 4.83 billion, then a shell of its former self, and put it under its media arm. In its heyday, Yahoo’s market cap reached a whopping $125 billion in January 2000.

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Verizon also bought HuffPost and TechCrunch through its acquisition of AOL in 2015. Now, Verizon is trying to sell off HuffPost, but is reportedly struggling to find a buyer. Follow me on Twitter. Send me a secure tip.

Rachel Sandler

 Rachel Sandler

I’m a San Francisco-based reporter covering breaking news at Forbes. I’ve previously reported for USA Today, Business Insider, The San Francisco Business Times and San Jose Inside. I studied journalism at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications and was an editor at The Daily Orange, the university’s independent student newspaper. Follow me on Twitter @rachsandl or shoot me an email rsandler@forbes.com.

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Boyd Digital: Global Tech News 1.91K subscribers Reported today on The Verge For the full article visit: https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/11/21… Reported today in The Verge. Verizon launches Yahoo Mobile phone service Verizon is launching a Yahoo-branded mobile phone service called Yahoo Mobile in an attempt to use consumers’ total apathy toward familiarity with the Yahoo brand to kickstart a new wireless provider.

Yahoo Mobile works off of Verizon’s network and offers only one plan: unlimited LTE data for $40 per month, plus throttled tethering and a subscription to Yahoo Mail Pro. It’s a good price; Verizon charges $65 per month for a prepaid unlimited plan, and AT&T charges $45 per month. If this all just feels like a lazy attempt to recycle the Yahoo brand, well, it gets worse: Yahoo Mobile is basically just a rebranded version of Visible, which is another spinoff phone service operated by Yahoo.

The singular plan is the same, their websites match up beat for beat, and Yahoo Mobile even offers Visible’s phone insurance plan under Visible’s name. Verizon closed its purchase of Yahoo close to three years ago. The deal included the Yahoo brand and major web services like Flickr and Tumblr. But Verizon was mainly interested in Yahoo’s ad technology, and it’s done little with Yahoo.

Both Flickr and Tumblr have since been sold off, and Yahoo’s biggest announcements have been payouts for data breaches. Spinoff carriers like Yahoo Mobile and Visible let Verizon diversify its business and test out new ways of selling wireless service. Verizon isn’t exactly a beloved brand, but Visible has hip branding and a simple pricing structure – something that might appeal to younger customers. Yahoo Mobile offers another take on that, just with the extremely appealing added perk of… subscription Yahoo Mail.

COVID-19 Contact Tracing Apps Could Be Turned Into Tools For Domestic Abuse

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If governments don’t focus on strong privacy protections in their COVID-19 contact tracking tools, it could exacerbate domestic abuse and endanger survivors, according to a warning from women’s support charities.

They’ve urged the U.K. government to include domestic abuse and violence against women and girls (VAWG) experts in the development of such initiatives.

Though the U.K. doesn’t yet have a widely available track and trace app, the charities – including Women’s Aid and Refuge – are already anxious enough about the current tracing program, where infected people are called up and asked to register themselves online as someone who has contracted COVID-19. They’re then asked to share details on people with whom they’ve been in contact so they too can be informed.

In a joint whitepaper, the nonprofits said they were anxious about contact tracing staff inadvertently leaking contact details of survivors to perpetrators. They also raised fears the program could be turned into a “tool for abuse.”

“For example, perpetrators may make fraudulent claims that they have been in contact with survivors in order for them to be asked to self-isolate unnecessarily, and in these circumstances survivors will have no means to identify the perpetrator as the original source,” they warned. “Perpetrators or associates may also pose as contact tracing staff and make contact with victims [or] survivors requesting they self-isolate or requesting personal information.”

The paper also claims abusers are already using the coronavirus pandemic for “coercive control,” in some cases deliberately breathing, spitting and coughing in survivors’ faces. As Forbes previously reported, the sharing of child abuse material has also spiked during global COVID-19 lockdowns.

As for apps, the report warned they required location services to be switched on. “While the NHS app itself doesn’t collect location data, if a perpetrator has installed spyware onto a survivor’s phone or is able to hack into it, then turning on location services will expose their location.”

Problems with Palantir?

The charities also raised concerns about a number of companies who’d partnered with the U.K. on the contact tracing initiatives. They said Serco, which is handling recruiting for contact tracing staff, “has a significant track record of failings and human rights violations, including running a controversial women’s immigration detention centre where staff have been accused of sexual misconduct and involvement in unlawful evictions of asylum seekers.” Serco also recently had to apologize for leaking email addresses of contact tracer staff.

Serco denies that it has any kind of significant track record of failing and human rights violations and that the evictions to which the charities are referring were in Scotland and were ruled legal. It also said that in seven years there had been no substantiated complaints about any sexual wrongdoing at the Yarl’s Wood immigration removal centre, where reports had revealed allegations.

“We are proud to be supporting the government’s test and trace programme with our Tier 3 contact centre team working from pre-approved Public Health England scripts. This is important work and we would like to thank all our teams who have stepped forward. In just four week we mobilised many thousands of people, which is a huge achievement, and we are focussed on ensuring that all our people are able to support the government’s programme going forwards,” a Serco spokesperson said.

Palantir, the $20 billion big data crunching business, also raised an eyebrow. The company, which has secured millions of dollars in contracts to help health agencies manage the outbreak, has come in for criticism for assisting U.S. immigration authorities on finding and rejecting illegal aliens.

Palantir hadn’t responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

UK’s delayed COVID-19 app

The charities’ warning comes as the U.K. announced its contact tracing app would be shifting to the Apple and Google models, which promise stronger privacy protections than the app being tested by the government. The main difference is in where user information goes. In the government’s app, anonymized phone IDs of both the infected person and the people they’ve been near are sent to a centralized server, which determines who to warn about possible COVID-19 infection.

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In the Apple and Google model, only the phone ID of the infected person is sent to a centralized database. The phone then downloads the database and decides where to send alerts. The latter means the government has access to far less data on people’s phones, pleasing some critics but aggravating the government.

Health secretary Matt Hancock said on Thursday that Apple’s restrictions on third-party apps’ use of Bluetooth may’ve been one reason the government’s own app wasn’t as successful as hoped. Bluetooth is being used to determine whether an infected person has been in close proximity with another person’s phone.

Earlier this week, Amnesty International cybersecurity researcher Claudio Guarnieri warned that global rollouts of contact tracing apps were a privacy “trash fire.” After analyzing 11 apps, he found many contained privacy shortcomings. So concerned was Norway that it suspended its tool.

Even with lockdowns easing, those who’re infected are still being advised to isolate. However,  the NHS guidance says that “the household isolation instruction as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19) does not apply if you need to leave your home to escape domestic abuse.” That message may not have been amplified as much as it should’ve been.

 

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I’m associate editor for Forbes, covering security, surveillance and privacy. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com.

Source: https://www.forbes.com

Can Bluetooth tech really get us back to some resemblance of a normal life? Bridget Carey explains the big challenges around contact tracing apps and what it will take for the apps to make a difference.
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What can you do with 5G? Everything

With all the buzz around 5G, many companies are wondering: “What will we be able to do with it?”

Businesses of all sizes believe 5G will bring them competitive advantages but aren’t entirely clear about its practical applications. Telecommunications service providers know there’s a multi-trillion-dollar opportunity up for grabs, but aren’t sure how to turn faster speeds and increased network intelligence into a share of that potential market.

Part of the challenge is that traditional network services have been determined by the limits of the technology. With 5G, those technical limitations are no longer a barrier, making it possible to do pretty much anything. Which means it’s up to service providers and their business customers to pick the use cases that will be most important and profitable for them.

The many things you can do with 5G

By partnering with companies who want to embed 5G’s capabilities into their own digital offerings, service providers can turn the network into a shared “fabric” for value creation. That requires smart planning, though–which is why Nokia Bell Labs has identified more than 100 consumer and business 5G use cases, grouped into eight broad categories:

Fixed wireless access (FWA)

FWA within homes and businesses will deliver broadband-like speed and reliability in more places, including those with no existing wired infrastructure or where it would be too costly to deploy.

Video surveillance and analytics

5G’s low latency and high capacity will help create smarter spaces through enhanced video surveillance and analytics. Wireless cameras mounted on drones or in hard-to-reach places will improve safety and security while providing footage that can improve decision-making in nearly any industry.

Immersive experiences

5G will support new, immersive experiences, both real and virtual. 360-degree virtual reality (VR) will let people enjoy events and play interactive games like they’re really there. In the workplace, augmented reality (AR) can train workers to handle hazardous situations without putting them in harm’s way.

Smart stadiums

In stadiums and concert halls, venue operators will use AR and VR to take fans “backstage,” provide real-time overlays of sports stats and replays, and deliver other immersive experiences.

Cloud robotics and automation

Manufacturers are looking to automation and the cloud to simplify processes and eliminate human errors. Wireless human-machine interfaces, powered by high-bandwidth 5G connectivity, will remove the constraints of today’s static assembly lines and speed up the reconfiguration of production environments.

Machine remote control

Cranes, robot arms and other remotely controlled machinery can boost operational efficiency and increase worker safety. From drones making deliveries to robots doing dangerous tasks like bomb disposal, these machines require reliable wireless connectivity, often over long distances, with low latency for accurate, responsive control.

Connected vehicles

5G will help make road travel easier, safer and more enjoyable. In-car entertainment and information–using vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-infrastructure communications to tell drivers about upcoming traffic jams, for instance–may be early applications, followed by assisted driving and autonomous vehicles.

eHealth

Hospitals can use 5G to enhance care delivery, including eHealth services. Guaranteed uplink speeds will allow ambulances to transmit critical data to hospitals so doctors can diagnose problems before patients arrive. 5G’s low latency will also support remote surgeries and other innovative applications.

From here to there

While there are many potential 5G use cases, some will be ready to implement sooner than others. With early standards focused on enhancing mobile broadband, options like FWA will be more feasible in the near-term while others, like autonomous vehicles, are still a few years away. In every case, by looking at 5G in terms of real-world applications and not just as a mechanism for connectivity, service providers and enterprises will give themselves the best chance of building a strong, profitable 5G plan.

By Jai Thattil Head of Marketing, 5G Services, Nokia

Source: What can you do with 5G? Everything.

104K subscribers
Millimeter waves, massive MIMO, full duplex, beamforming, and small cells are just a few of the technologies that could enable ultrafast 5G networks. Read more: http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/teleco… Today’s mobile users want faster data speeds and more reliable service. The next generation of wireless networks—5G—promises to deliver that, and much more. With 5G, users should be able to download a high-definition film in under a second (a task that could take 10 minutes on 4G LTE). And wireless engineers say these networks will boost the development of other new technologies, too, such as autonomous vehicles, virtual reality, and the Internet of Things. If all goes well, telecommunications companies hope to debut the first commercial 5G networks in the early 2020s. Right now, though, 5G is still in the planning stages, and companies and industry groups are working together to figure out exactly what it will be. But they all agree on one matter: As the number of mobile users and their demand for data rises, 5G must handle far more traffic at much higher speeds than the base stations that make up today’s cellular networks. Read more: http://spectrum.ieee.org/video/teleco…

AppsKitPro How To Create Fast High-Quality Native Mobile Apps For a $1.8 Trillion Industry Using Patent-Pending Technology

In fact, not very long ago, One of our most successful companies used to focus completely on Mobile App Development for clients with big budgets and strong market clout. With Multiple teams of Coders, UX developers and designers working tirelessly to churn out Super Professional, Blazing Fast apps within weeks, we definitely were super proud of the establishment.

You see, being this tech-savvy problem solver that I am, with the obsession of trying and automating almost everything that could possibly be automated, I used to wonder if it will ever be possible to automate this whole process of Designing and Deploying a high end, Blazing Fast and Professional Mobile App

The very idea sounded so extreme, I used to shy away from even sharing it with anybody until I met my friend and partner Dr. Sameer in Dublin.

You see, there are a few platforms around that claim to be able to create Mobile Apps for businesses, but after checking out all there was to check out, the NEED for something REALLY sturdy and professional felt even MORE.

It’s imperative that businesses MUST stay in touch with their prospects and customers to get high user engagement and gain trust as prominent brands. That’s the reason why BIG Dogs like Amazon, uBer, Deliveroo, Zomato and more have their own Apps.

AppsKitPro allow you to deliver messages to the user’s home screen. It’s like an SMS message, but coming from an app instead of your mom. Traditionally, push notifications were solely text (or emojis!), but now, rich push notifications let mobile marketers include text as well as images, video, and sound.

AppsKitPro can considerably enhance your customer experience. They’re less intrusive than other forms of user engagement and can effectively drive traffic and help users by providing useful information. They allow your users to keep up with the latest updates, promotions, and offers.

Native apps work on the device’s operating system. In simpler terms, native apps require complete access to all the hardware and functionality of a device and live on a device. This in turn allows them these unmatched benefits over other type of mobile Apps.

We Created a Robust, Never-Seen-Before Platform which would go on to churn out hundreds of Apps for our clients in Practically No Time compared to the traditional way of building an App.

  • You are able to set up coupons for a single or multiple business
  • Your users can see a full chronological history of their rewards of their LTV
  • Give users the ability to add and upload receipts
  • Set up a points-based system and reward customers
  • Allow your users to be rewarded for referring you business from their personal networks
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Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leak Shows Stunning Design And Cool Features

Now the latest iPhones have been revealed, attention turns to Huawei. Its Mate 30 series is now the most highly-anticipated launch, for several reasons.

The unveiling takes place in Munich on Thursday, September 18, but a series of press renders have leaked, according to the ever-dependable Evan Blass.

There will be four phones in the series, the Mate 30 Lite, Mate 30 and the one we’re. concerned with here: the Huawei Mate 30 Pro. The fourth will be the Mate 30 Pro Porsche Design, which is more of a niche model.

There have already been reports of exactly what the new Pro will look like, but the new images from Blass show greater detail of what could be Huawei’s most handsome phone yet.

Today In: Innovation

Here’s what to expect at the Munich launch.

Front and rear of the Huawei Mate 30 Pro, it's claimed.

@evleaks

This is the bit we’ve seen before but the latest images look splendid. The circular bezel around the four cameras evokes a camera lens itself, so it’s a particularly satisfying piece of design.

And note that the cameras don’t seem to protrude very far at all, unlike almost every other smartphone out there apart from the Nokia 9 PureView.

The notch isn’t small – room for a second camera

The front-facing camera and other tech are sitting in a bigger cut-out than on the Huawei P30 Pro, for instance. This suggests that the new phone will have two cameras, designed to make face unlocking faster and more secure than on current Huawei phones. Perhaps secure enough to authorize payments? We’ll see, though remember the current Huawei flagships include a fingerprint sensor under the display so that’s likely here as well.

Is this the sumptuous waterfall edge to the Huawei Mate 30 Pro?

@evleaks

The display design is sumptuous

This is what’s called a waterfall display. No, there’s no actual water involved, it means the way the display cascades over the edges like, you’ve guessed it, a waterfall. It’s one of the things that makes the phone looks so gorgeous and appealing.

Only one button – so where’s the volume control?

There’s a simplicity to design with fewer buttons, especially since there’s no visible fingerprint sensor, too. But the only previous phone with barely any buttons, from LG, had big volume rockers either side of the fingerprint/power button. This doesn’t seem to, seeming to confirm a previous rumor that the volume controls, like the fingerprint sensor, will be buried under the display. Cool, huh?

And one big unanswered question

This kind of leak can’t answer the biggest question of all: what software will the Mate 30 Pro use? Unless something changes in the U.S.-China trade negotiations, it seems Huawei can’t use the full Google Mobile Services Android on its next phones.

Now, things are changing very quickly in this situation but I doubt there’ll be any movement before this week’s reveal.

So, don’t be surprised if there’s a gap between announcement and release or even if Huawei play things close to their chest.

It could choose to put its own Harmony OS onboard but it’s made clear that’s a back-up, not the first choice.

It could put open-source Android on the phone and find some way to make it easy for customers to add apps like Google Maps, Gmail and so on. That’s possible, too.

That may not be answered this week, but for everything else, not long until we know.

__________

Follow me on Instagram by clicking here: davidphelantech and Twitter: @davidphelan2009

More on Forbes

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Move Over, AirPods 2: Huawei Reveals Show-Stopping FreeBuds 3 With Cool Features

Huawei Shock: Mate 30 Pro To Miss Gmail, Google Maps, Report Claims

Sony 40th Anniversary Walkman’s Surprise Feature Is A Scene-Stealer

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leaked Images Show Jaw-Dropping Design

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I’ve been writing about technology for two decades and am always struck by how the sector swings from startling innovation to regular repetitiveness. My areas of specialty are wearable tech, cameras, home entertainment and mobile technology. Over the years I’ve written about gadgets for the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Times, the Daily Mail, the Sun, Metro, Stuff, T3, Pocket-lint, Wareable.com and Wired. Right now most of my work away from Forbes appears in the Independent, the Evening Standard and Monocle Magazine. Parenthetically, I also work as an actor, enjoying equally the first Mission Impossible movie, a season at Shakespeare’s Globe and a stint on Hollyoaks. Follow me on Instagram: davidphelantech, or Twitter: @davidphelan2009

Source: Huawei Mate 30 Pro Leak Shows Stunning Design And Cool Features

Huawei Mate 30 Pro Official Look, Mate 30, Mate 30 RS Porsche Edition, Mate 30 Lite, Watch GT 2, Kirin 990, OFFICIAL Teasers & More! 🔔 Please Subscribe for Daily Tech Videos 🙂 Mate 30 Pro Intro Concept by – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bSSKZ… ★ INSTAGRAM: http://instagram.com/xeetechcare ★ TWITTER: http://twitter.com/xeetechcare

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OnePlus Cofounder Carl Pei On 5G And His Company’s Next Steps

The cofounder of smartphone maker OnePlus, and 30 Under 30 Asia alumni Carl Pei sat down with Forbes Asia at this year’s Under 30 Summit in Hong Kong.

After cutting his teeth at Chinese phone makers Meizu, and OPPO, Pei decided consumers deserved a better Android product. In December 2013, he set out with founder Pete Lau to do just that — build a feature-packed device that costs a fraction of market peers.

The OnePlus One was an immediate hit among the tech community online. Following a few years of blockbuster sales through e-commerce channels, his team is taking on a new challenge: shifting from direct to consumer models, to distribution through major telecom carriers.

The challenge, Pei says, is to build brand recognition and sell more phones offline through brick and mortar stores in Western markets, though OnePlus has been making headway starting with its 2017 venture into working with carriers in Europe, and just last year launching with T-Mobile across 5,600 stores in the US. The 29-year-old also weighs in on the future of 5G and the impact on the company’s product offerings.

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Pamela covers entrepreneurs, wealth, blockchain and the crypto economy as a senior reporter across digital and print platforms. Prior to Forbes, she served as on-air foreign correspondent for Thomson Reuters’ broadcast team, during which she reported on global markets, central bank policies, and breaking business news. Before Asia, she was a journalist at NBC Comcast, and started her career at CNBC and Bloomberg as a financial news producer in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Journalism School and holds an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Yahoo, USA Today, Huffington Post, and Nasdaq. Pamela’s previous incarnation was on the buy side in M&A research and asset management, inspired by Michael Lewis’ book “Liar’s Poker”. Follow me on Twitter at @pamambler

Source: OnePlus Cofounder Carl Pei On 5G And His Company’s Next Steps

 

Who’s The Face Behind FaceApp? Meet The Rich Russian Who Built The Wildly Viral App

He’s worked on Windows Mobile for Microsoft. He was cofounder of a company that sold to Russia’s Google, Yandex, in a reported $38 million deal that made him wealthy.

But Yaroslav Goncharov’s biggest success (and stress) has come with a company that’s miniscule by comparison: FaceApp. Leading a staff of just 12, the geeky, excitable 40-year-old has created what’s currently the world’s hottest (and possibly most controversial) app, which uses artificial intelligence-powered filters to gender-swap or radically age selfies.

It topped the download charts for both Android and iPhone this past week after millions followed celebrities like Dwyane Wade, Drake and Iggy Azalea in doing the “FaceApp Challenge.” The “challenge” was simple: take a photo, apply the aging filter and post an image on Instagram, Twitter, wherever, of the older you.

But no sooner had the FaceApp virality reached fever pitch than fear about the provenance and motives of the app’s creators emerged. First there were concerns—which swiftly proved to be unfounded—that FaceApp wasn’t just accessing submitted photos but grabbing entire camera rolls from users’ phones. Then Russophobes fretted about where all Americans’ face data was going, leading Senator Chuck Schumer to call for an FBI investigation into the app.

Goncharov, who promises more transparency with an updated privacy policy, was overwhelmed. “Last Thursday, I tried to count the number of calls I was getting. … I counted 200  in three hours or so,” he says. “We couldn’t do our daily work.” He’s speaking from his St. Petersburg HQ in his first interview with an English-language publication, recovering from a week in which his little company went into “crisis mode.”

Now he tells Forbes about plans to calm the privacy storm. The new FaceApp terms and policy will likely remove references to the rights that the company claimed over people’s images, he says. The current terms grant FaceApp almost complete ownership over submitted faces, letting the company use, alter and sell the photo however it wants, with no compensation for the user. “People got scared because they think everything we say in this policy we do, which of course is not the case at all,” he says.

Goncharov said those terms were so broad because he had planned earlier to turn FaceApp into a “social network for faces.” “To do this kind of product, our privacy policy had to be very similar to what Instagram had. Our current privacy policy is very similar to what Instagram has … but nobody blames Instagram, because it’s Instagram,” he adds.

Now there’s no need to mirror the privacy policy of the Facebook-owned app. “It’s my personal top priority to fix our privacy policy and terms of use,” he says, adding that he will be drafting fresh policies over the next month. “Hopefully it won’t take too long.”

He reiterates that the company deletes photos in 48 hours, asking the Amazon and Google servers, on which FaceApp runs, to automatically wipe data that’s been on the system for that time. He also notes that photos aren’t used for any commercial purposes. As for why the company stores faces on a server for 48 hours, the CEO says that users don’t want to have to re-upload a photo every time they apply a new filter. So the image has to stay on the server temporarily.

Little will therefore change at the code level, though there’s now a notification when opening the app, asking the user to confirm that they are happy that photos will be taken to a remote cloud. Besides, it’s not FaceApp that users should be worried about when it comes to privacy, but all the other apps they’re already using, Goncharov argues. “There are so many other apps that collect much more data,” he says. “We just don’t.”

An “unusual success”

At Microsoft in the early 2000s, Goncharov got a taste of the smartphone-obsessed future. He was a software developer on what was then Windows Mobile long before the iPhone and Android became a reality. He thought he was creating the first open, large-scale cellphone operating system, something like Android long before Google’s OS existed. “I was sure I was building the future,” he recalls of his time in Redmond.

But the working for a startup in his home city of St. Petersburg was too much of a draw. He joined SPB Software as chief technology officer and was one of three partners alongside Vassili Philippov and Sebastian-Justus Schmidt. The company started out developing alternative home screens for Windows Phone—a platform Goncharov was very familiar with from his time in Washington state. But SPB had to pivot when Windows began to flounder in the face of Apple’s and Google’s rival platforms. Goncharov laments that after he left, Windows tried to compete with Apple by producing a closed system, rather than choose the open, partner-led focus that Android took. “When I think about it, it still hurts.”

Not long after SPB had refocused on Android, Russian search engine Yandex came calling with a $38 million check in 2011. The FaceApp founder won’t disclose how much he made from the deal, other than to tell Forbes: “Let’s say that I had enough money to start my own company and not worry about looking for additional investments.” Cofounder Schmidt also declined to provide confirmation on figures.

During his time at Microsoft and then at Yandex, Goncharov, ever the engineer, became fascinated by neural networks—hardware and software that try to learn and process information like the human brain. He was particularly drawn to the idea that an algorithm could generate a face from given attributes, like gender or hair color. “The quality at that point was terrible, but there was still some magic.” He says that after six months of tinkering, the quality of the images his neural nets were creating were much better than what was previously available.

Once he left Yandex in 2013, he moved on to creating his own products, one of his first being a hotel Wi-Fi testing tool that garnered some success. But, wanting to create a product from those face-generating algorithms, he starting working on FaceApp in 2016. It launched in 2017, still in what Goncharov describes as a beta version. Even in its basic form, it went viral for the first time after a “hotness” filter made people prettier.

With millions of users enamored with the app, Goncharov quickly had to formulate a business plan. His idea was that people would pay for an automated photo editor, so he added a paid-for subscription offer that would remove the FaceApp watermark and irritating ads, as well as add some premium features. Effectively, FaceApp was to replace PhotoShop editors with AI, Goncharov ventured.

FaceApp making millions

It has paid off, according to the CEO. “We have success, but very unusual success,” boasts Goncharov, who owns 100% of the business.

Without providing substantiating data, he claims FaceApp has been profitable since the first launch two years ago, with “good” revenue and growth figures. “We’re very profitable,” he says. “I could easily have got investment from Silicon Valley… but we had enough to grow organically.” While Goncharov has no need for Silicon Valley investors for now (he says he may approach VCs in the future), others in the bubbly business of photo apps have either taken big funding rounds or been acquired. Snapchat snapped up Looksery for a reported $150 million in 2015 and Teleport for $8 million in 2018 to help grow its library of AI-powered filters, while Oakland-based photo app VSCO raised $90 million over two rounds.

FaceApp makes money from nothing more than a paid-for subscription service. But the founder declines to say how much revenue that’s drawing in or how many paying customers he has. He also won’t disclose user numbers.

Goncharov does, however, disclose that the paying customer base was roughly 1%. And looking at the number of downloads (not active users) revealed on Google Play, there are in excess of 100 million. Even taking a conservative estimate of 100 million users across Android and iOS, and just 1% signing up for a single month’s premium use at $3.99, the company is making at least $4 million per annum, and potentially a lot more if it’s locking in more users. (It’s also possible to pay $20 for a year’s access or $40 for lifetime use). Goncharov declined to comment on that estimate. But it’s not bad for a 12-employee business that’s been profitable for two years, by Goncharov’s account at least.

As for what’s next, video is on the horizon. Though other companies like Snapchat already do this with live filters, Goncharov doesn’t want to launch something that’s anything less than “magical.” He’s hoping that magic isn’t diminished by another privacy panic.

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I cover security and privacy for Forbes. I’ve been breaking news and writing features on these topics for major publications since 2010. As a freelancer, I worked for The Guardian, Vice Motherboard, Wired and BBC.com, amongst many others. I was named BT Security Journalist of the year in 2012 and 2013 for a range of exclusive articles, and in 2014 was handed Best News Story for a feature on US government harassment of security professionals. I like to hear from hackers who are breaking things for either fun or profit and researchers who’ve uncovered nasty things on the web. Tip me on Signal at 447837496820. I use WhatsApp and Treema too. Or you can email me at TBrewster@forbes.com, or tbthomasbrewster@gmail.com.

Source: Who’s The Face Behind FaceApp? Meet The Rich Russian Who Built The Wildly Viral App

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